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443

Munn did not sit down. He leaned against a post of the
porch, his back toward the others. The fireflies glowed and
dimmed, minutely, rising from the ground in the open space
of the yard and pasture. Sylvestus coughed, and scraped his
shoes on the boards.

"Ain't you gonna set?" Willie Proudfit asked him.

" No, thanks," Mr. Munn said, not turning.

" Maybe he ain't tahrd," Sylvestus remarked distinctly, but
almost as though to himself.

"No, Sylvestus," Mr. Munn told him, not turning, "I'm
not, as a matter of fact."

"Sing a little sumthen, Dellie," Willie Proudfit urged. "I
feel lak hit."

She began almost wordlessly, stopped, and began again.
She sang:

" Thar's a land that is fairer than day
And by faith I seen hit afar,
And our Father-----"

She broke off. "I ain't right fer hit," she explained. "To-
night."

"Set down, Perse," Willie Proudfit said, a hint of fretful-
ness in his tone.

Mr. Munn did not answer. Then he asked: "Willie, is
Senator Tolliver still staying where he was? In that place
over near Monclair?"

"Tolliver," Willie Proudfit said meditatively, and paused,

"Yes."

" The last I hear'd he was thar," Willie Proudfit answered.
And added: "A man plumb ruint tonight. And him what
he was."

"He was a bad man," Adelle Proudfit's voice declared.

" Set down," Willie Proudfit invited.

Mr. Munn turned and looked at their forms in the shadow.
" Willie," he said. " Willie, I'm leaving."

After a moment Willie Proudfit answered, "Naw, naw,
Perse "—his voice quiet—"you ain't a-leave-ea"

"Yes, I'm leaving," Mr. Munn insisted, "tosight1'